Donald Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning that he was “really surprised” by House Speaker Paul Ryan saying Thursday that he was not yet ready to endorse or support Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
“He can do whatever he wants to do. It’s fine, but I was surprised by it,” Trump said. “And by the way, many other people were surprised by it, and some were really surprised by it and not happy about it.”
The Manhattan billionaire touted the “many endorsements” he’s received since he essentially locked up the Republican nomination following a large win in Indiana’s primary.
The victory knocked Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, and John Kasich, the Ohio governor, out of the race. But Trump said Ryan’s decision to abstain from supporting him was one of “the only ones” that caught him off-guard.
Trump attributed Ryan’s weariness to the real-estate magnate’s repeated bashing of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s performance in the 2012 election. Ryan was Romney’s running mate.
“Well they lost a race that should’ve been won last time, and I’ve been very open about it,” Trump said. “That was a race that should’ve easily been won. That was an easier race than we have this year but I’ll win. You already see the polls going up rapidly.”
“But I was very, very surprised,” he continued. “I mean he talks about unity, but what is this about unity?”
Ryan’s office said Friday that the speaker has invited Trump to Capitol Hill for a meeting with Republican leaders next week. Ryan and Trump will also meet separately with Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus.
“Having both said we need to unify the party, Speaker Ryan has invited Donald Trump to meet with members of the House Republican leadership in Washington on Thursday morning to begin a discussion about the kind of Republican principles and ideas that can win the support of the American people this November,” a statement from his office read.
On Thursday, Ryan made a move without recent precedent, telling CNN that he cannot support or endorse the real-estate magnate at this point.
“I’m just not ready to do that at this point,” Ryan told CNN host Jake Tapper in an interview. “I’m not there right now.”
He continued: “I hope to, and I want to. But I think what is required is to unify this party. And I think the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.”
The speakercalled on Trump to “set aside bullying, set aside belittlement.”
But Ryan did add that his refusal to endorse or support Trump should not be interpreted as an endorsement of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
“No Republican should ever consider supporting Hillary Clinton,” he said. “Let me make that clear.”
Trump fired back in a statement shortly after.
“I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda,” Trump said in a statement. “Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!”
The mogul also posted his thoughts to Twitter early Friday morning as well, calling out Ryan in multiple tweets.
“So many great endorsements yesterday, except for Paul Ryan!” Trump wrote in one. “We must put America first and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
“Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party,” he continued in another. “Wrong, I didn’t inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!”
Watch the clip from Trump’s interview below:
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) May6, 2016